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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,604 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Charles P. Pierce Narrator: Bronson Pinchot Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The culture wars are over and the idiots have won. This is a veteran journalist’s caustically funny, righteously angry lament about the glorification of ignorance in the United States.

The three Great Premises of Idiot America:

– Any theory is valid if it sells books, soaks up ratings, or otherwise moves units.
– Anything can be true if someone says it loudly enough.
– Fact is that which enough people believe. Truth is determined by how fervently they believe it.

Charles Pierce has led a career-long quest to separate the smart from the pap, and now it’s time to try and salvage the Land of the Enlightened, buried somewhere in this new Home of the Uninformed. With his razor-sharp wit and erudite reasoning, Pierce delivers a gut-wrenching, side-splitting lament about the glorification of ignorance in the United States and how a country founded on intellectual curiosity has deteriorated into a nation of simpletons more apt to vote for an American Idol contestant than a presidential candidate.

With Idiot America, Pierce’s thunderous denunciation is also a secret call to action, as he hopes that, somehow, being intelligent will stop being a stigma and that pinheads will once again be pitied, not celebrated.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A raucous rant against the armies of the Right…Pierce is at his scathing, insightful best.”

    Boston Globe

  • “A lively and, dare I say, intelligent study of the ongoing assault on gray matter.”

    New York Observer

  • “[A] witty and pointed indictment of our nation’s disturbing ability to vilify smart people and elevate chowderheads to positions of power and influence.”

    Salt Lake Tribune

  • “There is only one Charles Pierce, and while that may be a good thing, it is also a damn good thing we have his unique combination of gonzo, erudition, fearlessness, and eloquence to help us make sense of a senseless world. I stand in awe, and appreciation.”

    Eric Alterman, author of Why We’re Liberals and When Presidents Lie

  • “Pierce penetrates, and the world feels less idiotic already.”

    Roy Blount, Jr., author of Alphabet Juice and Long Time Leaving

  • “There’s a guy down at the end of the bar who’s furiously angry, hilariously funny, and has an Irish poet’s talent for language. He’s been traveling the country, and he’s been alternately appalled and moved by what he’s found there, and, lucky you, he wants to tell you all about it. Listen.”

    Peter Sagal, author of The Book of Vice and host of NPR’s Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me

  • “Charles Pierce takes us on a brilliant and hilarious tour of the back roads of American idiotocracy through history—skewering Atlantis-seekers, evolution deniers, jackasses, nincompoops, and right-wing know-it-alls with his trademark sledgehammer wit. Reading Pierce’s Idiot America, I laughed myself stupid.”

    Amy Dickinson, author of The Mighty Queens of Freeville

  • “Engaging…Pierce delivers a rapier-sharp rant on how the America of Franklin and Edison, Fulton and Ford has devolved into America the Uninformed.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “For a good (if painful) laugh about creationism and other bits of American lunacy, try Charles Pierce’s Idiot America. It’s a funny, sly version of an argument made recently by Al Gore in The Assault on Reason, and by the brilliant Susan Jacoby in The Age of American Unreason.”

    John A. Farrell, USNews.com

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Susan | 2/17/2014

    " For all the left wingers out there. I listened to this one, skipped through some parts. I enjoyed the sections on popular culture (the scourge of reality tv, right wing talk radio, etc.) more than the historical stuff. The author just went into a little more detail than I could pay attention to in my 40-minute commute. Though, as a whole, I tend to like books like this. About how stupid we've all become. Perhaps that says more about me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Chuck O'Connor | 1/31/2014

    " Good and straight-forward explanation why the current GOP platform is dangerous. It exposes how our collective lack of critical thinking privileges emotional reasoning for the sake of truth and fact. History and science based in evidence become secondary to imagined ideas that make us feel good. This is a natural by-product of a nation built on imagination and free speech but the notion of "faith" as "fact" is over-riding our ability to self-govern. The writing becomes a bit repetitive (he loves the word apotheosis much too much) but the argument is clear and supported with current events that bring home the danger that just because one feels something true doesn't make it so. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Scott Finley | 1/20/2014

    " "The potent narcotic of reassuring simplicity..." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Denis Kaufman | 1/19/2014

    " Just finished this book and I liked it. Makes a compelling case that the anti-intellectual streak in American life has become an assault on knowing what you are doing, period. Examples include the Terri Schiavo case, wherein the opinions of doctors who acftually treated Ms Schiavo, her husband who saw her almost every day, the judges who ruled on her case after exhausting deliberations, etc, meant nothing once the media chose to make a circus--and the wingnuts decided to make a cause--of it. Other examples abound, including teaching evolution or teaching "the controversy", race to war in Iraq, defense of torture by Antonin Scalia (who actually quoted Jack Bauer) and so on. "

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About the Author
Author Charles P. Pierce

Charles P. Pierce is a staff writer for the Boston Globe Magazine, a contributing writer for Esquire, and a frequent contributor to American Prospect and Slate. His work has also appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Los Angeles Times Magazine, Nation, Atlantic, and Chicago Tribune, among other publications, and he is a regular on NPR’s Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me and Only a Game.